Pointing for small subjects?

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Deanimator
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:01 pm
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

Pointing for small subjects?

Post by Deanimator »

I've got another thread in the Beginner's forum which nobody has replied to, so I'll briefly mention it here.

I have a couple of very small subjects, an isopod and a millipede that I'd like to try photographing with my new rig.

My question is whether pointing is the best method of mounting or is there something better specific to macro photography?

My previous efforts were ad hoc and haphazard at best.

Is pointing the way to go or does somebody have a better suggestion?

Thanks.

naturepics43
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 9:21 pm
Location: Hocking County, Ohio , USA

Post by naturepics43 »

My preferred method is gluing an insect mounting pin under the body of the insect. You can position the insect at any angle very easily. If the pin shows in your stack you can clone it out when editing your stack. Pointing is usually for small insects or insects with hard exoskeletons. Be aware that points (and the dot of glue) will cause hot spots in your final image. To solve this problem I don't mount wasps, bees etc. I lay them on a piece of glass supported by a 3/4 inch length of 2 inch diameter PVC pipe. My methods are not appropriate for a professional insect collection but I do keep most of the insects I photograph. Hope this helps.

Deanimator
Posts: 828
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:01 pm
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

Post by Deanimator »

naturepics43 wrote:My preferred method is gluing an insect mounting pin under the body of the insect. You can position the insect at any angle very easily. If the pin shows in your stack you can clone it out when editing your stack. Pointing is usually for small insects or insects with hard exoskeletons. Be aware that points (and the dot of glue) will cause hot spots in your final image. To solve this problem I don't mount wasps, bees etc. I lay them on a piece of glass supported by a 3/4 inch length of 2 inch diameter PVC pipe. My methods are not appropriate for a professional insect collection but I do keep most of the insects I photograph. Hope this helps.
Do you have the pin parallel or perpendicular to the body of the subject?

Thanks for your help.

naturepics43
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 9:21 pm
Location: Hocking County, Ohio , USA

Post by naturepics43 »

Depends on subject & what pose you intend to use. Try to position the pin where it won't show or where it will be easy to clone out. I have not tried to mount a millipede or isopod so can't be of any help there. The last isopod I stacked, I "posed" on a tan rock. Small butterflies or moths I always glue the pin on the underside of the abdomen. Be creative.But most of all have fun.

Deanimator
Posts: 828
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:01 pm
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

Post by Deanimator »

naturepics43 wrote:Depends on subject & what pose you intend to use. Try to position the pin where it won't show or where it will be easy to clone out. I have not tried to mount a millipede or isopod so can't be of any help there. The last isopod I stacked, I "posed" on a tan rock. Small butterflies or moths I always glue the pin on the underside of the abdomen. Be creative.But most of all have fun.
Thanks for the advice.

I tried to remove the millipede from the point, which was not surprisingly, a disaster. I expected that the millipede would be a tough subject.

I still have the isopod and another tiny bug, to try. I won't be able to try anything again until Saturday.

MarkSturtevant
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Post by MarkSturtevant »

The pin can be stuck into a piece of plasticine clay. This useful tool is referred to as a 'multi-axis specimen manipulator'.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

Deanimator
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:01 pm
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

Post by Deanimator »

MarkSturtevant wrote:The pin can be stuck into a piece of plasticine clay. This useful tool is referred to as a 'multi-axis specimen manipulator'.
What I did to get the isopod image was to take a #3 insect pin, apply a little Super Glue and press it lengthwise to the underside. The problem that I ran into was that the alligator clip on my Wemacro subject holder had trouble grasping the pin as did the one on my DIY steel ball positioner. I eventually got things stable enough for a decent if not great image.

I've only got about a day and a half a week for this. Tomorrow or Monday I'll give the clay a try, as well as possibly switching to my studio strobes instead of the CFLS.

BugEZ
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Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:15 pm
Location: Loves Park Illinois

Post by BugEZ »

Mounting should align with photograph intent and purpose.

I primarily photograph fly eyes. Dolichopodidae eyes usually. To mount them I use a cocktail toothpick. The pointy cylindrical ones with the colored cellophane frills. I break off the frilly end (and eventually remove the frill and use that end too) and paint the pointy end with black fingernail polish. While it is still wet I press the shank against the legs of the fly. Usually just the mid and rear legs, two to three legs is usually enough. Fingernail polish dries quickly and in 15 seconds or so the fly is mounted. On some occasions I press the shank against the abdomen. The cylindrical nature of the toothpick shaft allows me to rotate it in the gentle friction clamp I use.

I used super glue for years, the viscous type. I found that it outgassed as it dried and feared it would fog the objective lens front surface. Nail polish does not, though it is a bit more difficult to use as it dries more slowly. (Apply some superglue to a coverslip and watch what happens to the adjacent surfaces...)

A toothpick mounted fly glued with nail polish
https://www.flickr.com/photos/96614572@N07/29376529458/

On outgassing...
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... light=glue

BugEZ
Posts: 812
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:15 pm
Location: Loves Park Illinois

Post by BugEZ »

And a photo showing how the toothpick works with the friction clamp which is a simple notch whittled in a shish kabob skewer. Image

Keith

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